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Cross Country Section

Top Team- Harriers in West Yorkshire League Action

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Top Team- Harriers in West Yorkshire League Action
Team work was the name of the game for Holmfirth’s athletes in action in Guisley this Sunday for the first cross country league fixture of the new season. Team managers and coaches had worked their magic and seventy five athletes, a new record for the club, turned out and ran their hearts out with some amazing team and individual performances. In the Junior races Holmfirth teams featured in the top 3 in 5 of the 8 races and the senior women and men finished 1st and 2nd respectively.  Four individual race winners and a further 2 athletes in second was icing on the cake for the delighted supporters.

Sunnivah Waterman provided the club’s 1st win in the first race of the day. Powering ahead on the hill Sunny stayed away for the remainder of the race and won by a healthy ten second margin. With Eve Middleton, in her first cross country race, Libby Shepherd in 10th and Sophie Allan also in her first cross country race in 11th the girls managed to secure 2nd team place. Lucy Whitworth also in her first outing in the mud ran strongly to finish in 32nd place.

The U11 boys not to be outdone also managed to secure 2nd team place. Callum Durrans first back for the team in 11th, closely followed by Oliver Rees 14th, and Samuel Bedingfield 15th all 3 in their first league appearance with Daniel Howatson the final team counter in 18th. Tom Haley-Porteous also in his first race ran strongly in 27th, Finn Kerry suffering from a cold finished 29th and brothers George and Harry Hobbs ran well to finish 33rd and 40th respectively.

With sixteen athletes from the club competing in the U13 girls race this did seem like a banker for Holmfirth. Northern medal winners Olivia Sykes and Lucy and Erica Byram fought it out at the front of the race with athletes from Ilkley and Wakefield. Olivia finishing just 8 seconds down in 2nd place and one second separating Lucy and Erica in 4th and 5th places, the girls took first team spot with ease.  With so many amber vests on display this race was a real treat for the spectators all the girls running strongly and many in their first cross country race. Daisy Hinchcliffe was next back in 20th, first timer Anna Charlesworth 23rd, Genevieve Durrans 24th, Amy Kettlewell 39th, Olivia Battye and Olivia Blackburn both in their first races in 41st and 42nd and Talia Johnson 43rd, Charlotte Eastwood 47th, Caitlin Smith 48th, her first race, Isobel Drake, Isabelle Haley-Porteous and Lily Barr 53rd, 57th and 58th respectively and Esme Wilde 61st – all these girls in their first races. With this the largest junior race and a field of over 70 athletes the Holmfirth girls can and should all be proud of their performances.

The U13 boy’s race was another success story for the club, Seth Waterman taking the victory after a hard fought battle with fellow triathlete Tyler Huchtinson of York and the team securing second place. Seth took up the lead from the start with Tyler shadowing his every move; he finally managed to shake him off in the run in the finish and won the race by a margin of 7 seconds. The improving Lewis Bartholomew was next home for the boys in 11th with Andrew Farquhar 13th and Isaac Shepherd working hard in 15th to complete the team. Nicky Farquhar, only just turned 11 had a great run in 21st place, Shea Kerry finished strongly in 33rd Tiras Waterman again in his first U13 race ran well in 38th as did Daniel Whitworth in his first ever cross country. Joe Williams finished strongly in 49th.

Nearly 50 athletes lined up for the U15 girls race. Holmfirth’s Sophie Spencer moved well through the field to finish an excellent 11th place. Sophie was joined by Lucy Farquhar running well in 16th place and Sophie Williams with a gritty performance in 37th. The girls finished 5th team.

Lewis Byram, last year’s U13 league winner had to work hard at the front of the U15 boys race, he persevered and managed to break away from local rival Emile Caress of Bingley Harriers half way through the second lap to come away with a solid win in 14.14. Aaron Arthur finished strongly in 9th place and Aaron Kettlewell  just 2 places down an excellent 11th. Eddie Hinchcliffe completed the boys team in 20th and  George Green and Ben Jones both running cross country for the first time finished in 28th and 34th places respectively great runs on the tough Guisley course.

Holmfirth representatives in the U17 age group, like their younger colleagues, more than acquitted themselver. Peter Franklin in his first cross country race for the club had a great run to finish in 9th place Robert Hinchcliffe in his 1st U17 cross country also ran strongly in 24th place. Ruby Sykes made up for being the lone Holmfirth representative in the girls race by cruising round to finish 11th

Ladies start title defence in style

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The juniors’ success set the tone for the final two races, when the Holmfirth Ladies triumphed in the Senior Women’s event.  Having won the team event for a number of years it is always a title that is strongly defended by them.  Katie Walshaw, last year’s league champion, and running on her favourite cross country course, left the rest of the field behind at the gun.  She was running alone at the front for the first of two small laps, but by the second lap had fellow fell running international Jo Buckley of Bingley Harriers hot on her heels.  The two athletes had a great battle, but going into the final large lap Katie pulled away to claim victory by 15 seconds.  Helen Berry was next home with a strong run in 6th place, and with equally good performances by Kath Farquhar (11th) and Lucy Needham (16th) the team took gold with a total of 34 points, streaks ahead of Leeds City with 62 points.  Cara Penfold continues to improve and finished just into the second half of the field in 56th place.  Newcomers Fran Whitworth, who had been busy supporting her children in earlier races, and Aideen Farrell, put in fine performances for their first cross country race, finishing 75th and 82nd respectively out of 102 runners.

Senior Men come good

After the dessimation of the Senior men’s team last year through, illness, injury and inertia it was fantastic to see nineteen Holmfirth Harriers senior men on the start line at Nunroyd Park, Guiseley. Although the weather conditions weren’t ideal for spectators, they were good for running. The senior men’s race consisted of four large laps of the park (approx 9km).  In the early stages of the race the front runners included Holmfirth Harriers Matthew Pierson, in hard training for the Dublin marathon at the end of the month and Max Kaye who, along with Thomas Traviss-Pollard and Jake Richardson were making the transition from Under 17’s to Junior Men age group, a huge step up from the U17 races of 5km to this of 9km. After the first lap, the field was beginning to stretch out with Matthew on the shoulder of Simon Deakin (Leeds City) and Max in 4th  behind Ian Fisher (Otley AC). The next Harriers were Thomas Traviss-Pollard and Richard Smith who had both started very well in a field of 220 athletes. As the race went on, Simon Deakin opened up a substantial lead to win with Matthew securing second place. The junior men started to fade the longer distance taking its toll and Max came home in a well deserved 8th place (2nd Junior). Richard Smith finished strongly for 18th with Thomas Traviss-Pollard in 30th. The final two counters of the Holmfirth team were Alistair Rees 39th back in cross country action after a break of at least 6 years and James Little new to the club in 51st. This was a superb performance which secured the 2nd team place on the day.

Other Holmfirth placings were: John Ewart 68th (1st V55), James Durrans 71st, Jake Richardson 91st, Wayne Byram 92nd, Brandon Holroyd 113th, Graham Howatson 125th

Rob Kersey 126th (2nd V60), Phil Hobbs 138th, Kevin Yewlett 148th, Dave Shepherd 158th, David Drake 179th, Andy Smithson 207th. Well done to all who took part.

The Harriers are back in action next weekend in the National Road Relays and in cross Country action in the second West Yorkshire League fixture on Saturday 29th October.









About Us

Roger BradleyX-C secretary

Roger Bradley







Welcome to the Cross Country pages of Holmfirth Harriers AC. If you’re new to cross country or just thinking about having ago then Holmfirth competes in the WYCC league. This is a series of 4 races, usually in October, November and December (see Race Calendar on Website) and these races are suitable for runners of all abilities. Races start in the morning for juniors, with the senior women usually running at about 1.00pm and the senior men at about 2.00pm. Races are usually in parkland settings but in wet weather can be very muddy when studded shoes or ideally cross country spikes should be worn. In very dry conditions trail shoes can sometimes be used. If you are interested in having ago then talk to Roger Bradley, John Ewart or Helen Berry a.s.a.p. The entry sheet is on the Cross Country notice board and the cost is £7 for all 4 races.


Holmfirth Harriers also compete in the Yorkshire, Northern and English National CC Championships plus the YVAA CC Championships (see Vets Pages) which usually take place in January / February.


In order to get a Cross Country Page up and running on the website I (Rob K) am putting this together but really have more than enough to do with the Vets so if anyone would like to take over and put info., photos, race reports or whatever you like onto the page, then please contact me (contact on Vets page). It is only a short season with one or at the most two events in a month from October to February.


Can't find what you're looking for on the new site? The old site is still available here